Top Philippine architectural firms are becoming more regionally and globally competitive, online property portal Lamudi Philippines said, highlighting companies that appear in the BCI Media Group’s Top 10 Architectural Firms awards.
“While architectural firms face some of the bigger challenges in local real estate in terms of competition, several have managed to stand out and lead the industry in design both locally and internationally,” Lamudi said.
Lamudi explained that while there are limits on foreign investment and ownership of real estate in the Philippines, there are fewer restrictions on architectural firms, which makes it more challenging for local firms to compete, particularly given the industry’s “slow and steady” growth of about six percent per year.
“Despite the competition, a number of locally based architectural firms have managed to stand out and be locally and globally competitive,” Lamudi said.
The property listing service identified firms that are recognized by Sydney-based BCI Media Group, a leading provider of building and construction information across the Asia-Pacific region, in its annual Top 10 Architectural Firms awards.
The awards are based on the aggregate value of each project during the prior full calendar year, weighted by the extent of their sustainability and confirmed green building ratings, BCI Media Group explained.
“While several have made the list since the awards’ inception in 2005, a couple of firms have stood out by constantly making the list, and upon scrutiny of the projects they complete, makes it easy to understand why,” Lamudi said.
Among the firms recognized by Lamudi are AIDEA Philippines Inc., ASYA Design Partner, Edward Co Tan & Architects (ECTA), Jonathan O. Gan + Associates, Jose Siao Ling & Associates, Pimentel Rodriguez Simbulan & Partners, R. Villarosa Architects Partner & Associates, Visionary Architecture, WTA Architecture + Design Studio, and H1 Architecture and Design.
All of the firms on Lamudi’s list have one or more projects that are local landmarks. AIDEA Philippines Inc., which was originally founded originated in England in 1995 but ultimately evolved into an all-Filipino firm by 2003, is a consistent winner in BCI Media Group’s annual contest, having been included in the Top 10 for the last three years in a row, and in 2015 was ranked 62 among the WA (World Architecture) 100 for 2015.
Recent projects by AIDEA include the Ascott Residences, Kidzania Philippines, High Street South Corporate Plaza Tower 2, and Woodside Greentown Twin Towers. AIDEA’s best known project is the Globe Tower in Bonifacio Global City, which Lamudi characterized as one of the most praised and desired office buildings in Metro Manila.
R. Villarosa Architects Partner & Associates has also been named to the Top 10 for the past three years, and is the team behind the Gramercy Residences, the Philippines’ tallest residential towers. R. Villarosa Architects’ current projects include the Acqua Private Residences, a six-tower residential condo project by Century Properties.
Even more successful in the BCI Media Group competition is ASYA Design Partner, which has appeared on the Top 10 list every year since the awards’ inception in 2005.
“The firm is widely recognized for its holistic services that help owners develop properties from the ground up, and ASYA is also the only local firm with its very own 12-story Platinum-certified green office building,” Lamudi commented.
Among ASYA’s most recognizable projects are the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Malate, and the City of Dreams complex.
Five-time entrant in the BCI Top 10 Edward Co Tan & Architects (ECTA) positions itself as an expert in sustainability. “ ECTA has established itself among the top architectural firms in the Philippines by embracing advancements and methodologies that complement the systems developed by environmental institutions like the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED),” Lamudi said.
ECTA’s projects include the cylindrical Del Rosario Building in BGC, The Sanctuarium in Quezon City, and the upcoming World Hotel and Residences in Quezon City.
Another successful firm, placing in the BCI Asia Top 10 eight times is Jose Siao Ling & Associates, which started with just three staff in 1983 and has grown to take on major projects such as the Mall of Asia Arena and the Luxe Residences in Taguig.
Finally, among the more established firms is one new entrant to the Top 10 list is H1 Architecture & Design.
“The group has one of the largest portfolios of high-profile projects in the country, a testament to the trust it has earned from investors and property owners,” Lamudi said.
Among H1’s numerous projects are the Six Senses Resort in Pasay, the Fora Mall in Tagaytay, Parkway Corporate Center in Alabang, Soltana Nature Residence in Cebu, and the Panglao Oasis in Taguig.